Residents of Asaba and environs have besieged the various ATM galleries in the Delta state capital to make withdrawals ahead of Tuesday’s strike called by the organised Labour.
Our correspondent reports that there was unusually long queues of customers at virtually all the galleries featuring Automated Teller Machines of commercial banks, especially within Asaba metropolis.
Some of the ATMs malfunctioned, though, with some of them relating messages such as “Temporarily unable to dispense cash;” “Service temporarily not available;” “Unable to complete DQO,”etc.
One of the customers simply identified as Okechukwu said he was shocked to see such an unusual crowd, despite the fact that neither the state nor the local councils had paid the November salaries.
Another customer, Mr. Monday Jindu, told The PUNCH that attention was shifted to the ATMs because of the failure of some of the banks to attend to customers.
“I entered a bank, the queue was long. I tied to use the PoS inside the bank, it was not working. I came back to the ATM, but it didn’t dispense cash.
“The problem is that tomorrow (Tuesday) is strike, and I fear that then, there might not be money in the ATMs.
“I have gone to three banks this morning to withdraw money, But I couldn’t, as only one ATM was working out of up to four or five in many banks,” Jindu alleged.
An old woman who did not want her name in print said she had to join a long queue despite her health challenges because there were rumours that banks might fully join the strike.
She said this might not be unconnected with the threats by Labour leaders in the state to start picketing offices as from Tuesday.
“I am here to withdraw the little balance I have in my two accounts before the money in the ATM’s get exhausted.
“I have spent all my cash on my children who returned to school on Sunday,” she said
NLC Delta State Secretary, Mr. Innocent Ofuoyeadi, told our correspondent that the state was prepared to carry out the instruction from national body.